Bombing in Uganda
Four days before the explosion, and before bodies were thrown to the ground, I was having dinner at the very restaurant that is now in shreds!!!! A miracle some say, an atrocity others say, violence, justice. Who knows, it all depends on the lens we choose to see the situation in doesn't it? But for me, I say unfortunately violence and peace live side by side in Africa.
Why that place? Because it is only a couple of blocks from the American Embassy, and the the restaurant in front of the Ethiopian restaurant was a popular American and European hangout. Hence they were able to hit two targets at once. Yes, the Ethiopians have assisted the Americans to help fight the war on terrorism. Misguided yes, but strategic in getting their message across. However, most of the Ethiopians here are actually from Eritrea, so to be politically correct, we must identity the people to truly understand the cause. In Uganda, most people just see them all as Ethiopians and fail to distinguish between the two. It isn't until you begin to converse with them that you recognize the difference. However, many of the Eritreans are here seeking political asylum, due the harsh conditions of living through over two decades of war.
Yes, I see the eyes of the Ethiopian waiter who served me four days before, the bombing. I kept him busy that night. Having lived and worked in Ethiopia, I knew just how my food should be served, and I wanted it to be as authentic as possible. If I recall, we left him a great tip. But it wasn't enough to make up for the loss him and his family are now suffering, having lost their only means of income. My heart, my sadness, goes out to them. So, I want to paint a picture of their story, the side the American media will never tell. They will only tell you about the other foreigners who were injured, killed and maimed. He and his family came to Uganda, in hopes of escaping the many bombs of the yet to end war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, yet, he was not able to escape the silent war being waged by the Somali extremist group all over the world. How will they pick up and begin life again, having lost their sole sources of income in a country that has no social services? I have no doubt they will continue because, we Africans are survivors. My prayers are for the family of those whose names and faces will remain strangers to the international media outlets, simply because they are foreigners of a different color. Yes, I read the headlines on the internet, " American killed in bombing". Sad that when we come to spread goodness, we sometimes get caught in the trap meant for others.
My prayers are the same for those given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. over forty years ago, " Let freedom reign", on peoples of all colors and nationalities, and may we learn to love and embrace ourselves better so we can extend that hand to our brothers and sisters no matter the color or nationality of the rainbow the creator decided to make them. I pray for all the victims, named and unnamed and I pray for Uganda, may she once again become a place of peace, sisterly and brotherly love, and may violence become a very distant memory of a past long gone.